Friday, January 4, 2013

Tutorial: Felt Envelopes I made for Valentine's Day

My twin commissioned me to make several projects for her to sell where she lives overseas (I will do posts as I finish each project).  They have several "Mall Days" a year which are basicly the same setup as a craft fair or flea market except that it's indoors and the vendors sell hand made crafts or things they bought to resell.  You can find anything from baked goods to jewelry to tote bags.  Most of the stuff is really good and not that cheap crap you normally find at Flea Markets.  They also have "Open Houses" where each vendor sells things in their own home.  My twin has a few "Open Houses" a year and Valentine's is one of them.

She asked me to make her some felt envelopes.  I knew how to make one but wanted to see how others online were making theirs.  I did try a couple of templates including the style that each side folds in, the bottom folds up and they are glued leaving the top flap loose.  That style didn't suit me.  So I thought since my twin wants the envelopes to be able to hold stuff, I would just do like a business envelope style.  Then I decorated each one in a different way with felt stickers and hand sewn seed beads on the flaps.  I think the next time I make these, I will do a fabric lining to make it fancier which will allow me to add snap buttons.  But being that I am doing so many projects for her, I wanted to help keep the cost down, hence no fabric lining.

Finished Size: 4.75" x 9"

 I bought Precut felt pieces that were 9"x12".  3 of each color in Red, Hot Pink, Light Pink, White, Cream & Chocolate Brown to give her some variety and for her to have enough in case they were popular.  Above the felt piece is squared up on my cutting mat so that you can see the size in inches.  NOTE: EACH PIECE CAME WITH A STICKER ON IT.  WHEN YOU TAKE OFF THE STICKER IT LEAVES A FUNNY LOOKING FUZZY SPOT.  MAKE SURE THAT SPOT IS ON THE INSIDE THAT WILL BE THE POCKET

 To make the flap, I folded one side over to the 2.5" mark.

 I pinned each side just in case as I had never sewn with felt before and I wanted to make sure that they seams were as perfect as I could get them.

 I used my 1/4" seam foot to sew a 1/4" seam on each side making the pocket.  If you don't have this foot, you can just eyeball it or some people put a piece of masking tape or other tape on their bobbin plate.

 Repeated on other side

 Now, I did make the top edge of the flap a litter fancier than plain so I sewed a 1/16" top stitched seam across the entire flap.  When I folded the flap over, I made sure that I had about 1/8" gap between the top of the pocket and the top folded part of the flap.

 Again, I pinned each side in place.

 This just showed my pinned sides

 To help me make sure I kept a straight 1/16" seam I lined the flap edge up next to the inner right side of my 1/4" seam foot.

 Not sure if you can see it very well but the arrow is pointing to my 1/16" straight stitch along the top of the folded flap.

 Now it's time to give the flaps some curved corners.  I used a plastic lid from raisins.  You can use any circle but make sure it's a few inches in diameter.  If it's too small in diameter, then you won't really have a curved corner.  I drew the lines with Mark B Gone.  Make sure to use a disappearing marker.

 Above you see my drawn lines.  You can also see the inside of the top stitched flap.

 I trimmed my corners with thread snippers/embroidery scissors to get a really good cut.

 Flap folded over.  Envelope construction is finished so now you can decorate however you like.  If you look closely, you will see that the beading on each envelope is a different pattern or has a different color sequence.  I used beads in clear, hot pink, light pink & red.

 I think this is a better envelope to show the 1/16" top stitched flap.

 I think the top stitched flap makes the envelope look better.


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